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James Newman unveils UK Eurovision entry, Embers

By | Published on Friday 12 March 2021

James Newman

James Newman gets a second attempt at representing the UK at Eurovision this year, having missed out due to the event’s cancellation in 2020. And now he’s revealed his second Eurovision song, ‘Embers’. In sharp contrast to last year’s sad ballad ‘My Last Breath’, this time he’s heading out with a big pop bop.

“I wanted to write an upbeat and positive song that people could have a party to”, says Newman. “It’s about the spark between people who love each other. Just because you don’t see the people you care about all the time, doesn’t mean that spark isn’t there”.

So that’s nice, isn’t it? It’s a song for these times, about these times, with a generous helping of hope mixed in. Will it win? Well, it has a chance of not coming absolute bottom. And that, for the UK these days, is pretty glowing praise, I think.

It’s got some big arms in the air moments that might go over well with an audience desperate for something chirpy after the last year, and with two years since their last Eurovision fix. And, if all else fails, the instrumental could be used as a new theme tune for ‘The One Show’ afterwards.

As well as being Newman’s first chance to actually take part in Eurovision, it will be BMG’s first chance to prove that it can do better at choosing the UK’s entry than the BBC and the public have ever managed. The music firm teamed up with the BBC in 2019, but that alliance is yet to be properly tested – again, due to last year’s cancellation.

It was announced last month that BMG and the BBC were backing Newman again. And after years of people wondering why we don’t send any of our actually popular popstars to the competition, he gets somewhat closer to that.

Sure, he’s not Ed Sheeran. Nor is he even his brother John Newman. But he is a BRIT and Grammy-nominated songwriter, who has written for Rudimental, Calvin Harris and Armin Van Buuren. And Ed Sheeran even featured on one of the Rudimental tracks he co-wrote. While his brother John was on the Calvin Harris track. So perhaps, actually, he is both of those two performers. It was very cruel of you to say otherwise earlier.

Anybobs, the Eurovision Song Contest grand final – for which Newman automatically qualifies, thanks to all the cash the BBC puts into the event – takes place on 22 May. Have a little listen to ‘Embers’ here: